Defence & Security Current Affairs - 2019

Defence Current Affairs of 2018-19 related to India’s Defence, Indian Armed Forces, Defence Production, Defence Acquisition and related matters for SSC, States Civils, UPSC and Other Competitive Examinations.

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Govt. restores ‘ration in kind’ provision to military officers in peace areas

The Government of India has approved Union Ministry of Defence proposal for restoration of ‘ration in kind’ to military officers stationed in peace areas. This is one of the first major decisions taken by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh after he assumed the new portfolio role in Modi government’s 2nd term.

Key Highlights

Background: On 1 July 2017, government had taken the decision that instead of free ration in kind facility defence officers would be given certain allowance.  This decision to withdraw provision of ration in kind, a practice that was being followed since 1983 was based on a recommendation of 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC). Initially the ration in kind facility was applicable only to junior officers but was subsequently extended to all ranks. The MoD decision to cancel free ration for officers in peace postings met with criticism from several quarters within the three armed forces services.

Allowance: Defence forces had told Defence Ministry that in case if ration in kind facility was discontinued then an allowance of Rs.205.11/officer/day without tax exemptions must be paid. However, central government decided only an amount of Rs.96 as allowance. Later a cost analysis was done which revealed that in case of free ration cost came up to Rs.100 per officer per day.

Importance: Now after restoration of ration in kind facility all officers of armed forces, including those in peace stations, will be getting ration. This result of restoration is due to a lot of effort from all levels in Defence Ministry and Indian Armed Forces.

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Operation Sunrise 2: Armies of India, Myanmar target NE Militants

Starting from 16 May 2019, the armies of India and Myanmar carried out a 3-week-long coordinated operation in their respective border areas called ‘Operation Sunrise 2’ to bust terror camps. The operation was targeted at militant groups operating in Manipur, Nagaland and Assam. This was the 2nd edition of Operation Sunrise.

Key Highlights

Participants: From Indian side besides Indian Army, troops from Assam Rifles were also part of operation.

Operation Against: During Operation Sunrise 2, the armies of India and Myanmar coordinated with each other to bust camps of several militant outfits, including NSCN-K (National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang), Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) (I) and National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB).

Result: Atleast 6 dozen militants belonging to the groups mentioned were nabbed and some of their camps were destroyed during operation.

Background: In June 2015, days after NSCN-(K) militants killed 18 armymen in Manipur, Indian Army carried out an operation against the militants near Indo-Myanmar border areas. Since then operations against militants are actively undertaken. According to data provided by security agencies, there were more than 50 camps of insurgent groups from north-east in Myanmar till 2018.

First phase of Operation Sunrise

The ‘Operation Sunrise 1’ was conducted 3 months ago (February 2019) along the Indo-Myanmar border, during which a number of camps of north-east-based militant groups were busted.

In 1st phase of operation, Indian Army targeted members of Arakan Army (Myanmar’s insurgent group) who were opposed to Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project, which is viewed as India’s gateway to Southeast Asia.

India-Myanmar

Boundary: Four Northeast states of India share a 1,640-km long border with Myanmar with Myanmar namely, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and militancy-hit Nagaland and Manipur. Thus, Myanmar is one of the strategic neighbours of India.

For much efficient guarding of sensitive border, India for long has been pushing for a deeper coordination between armies of two countries while.

Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project: In April 2008, India entered into a framework agreement with Myanmar to facilitate implementation of Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport project which once completed project will help connect north-eastern state of Mizoram with Sittwe Port in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. While on Indian side, work is on to extend Aizawl-Saiha National Highway (in Mizoram) by 90 km to international border at Zorinpui.

Way Ahead: The armies of two countries might launch 3rd phase of operation, depending on intelligence inputs and the ground situation.

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